LONDON, Nov. 16, 2006 ? The eagerly awaited 2007 edition of the Pirelli Calendar was presented tonight to the press, guests, and collectors from around the world at Battersea Evolution Park in London.
The stars of this edition are five of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and beloved actresses: Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts and daring newcomer Lou Doillon, photographed by the Dutch duo Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in California.
The unique 2007 calendar marks a turning point: the glamour that characterized past
editions is absent. There has been a return to the simplicity of the film sets, stories and photography of the early sixties (reminiscent of the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michelangelo Antonioni): the personality of the person prevails over the environment in a plain, unadorned setting.
Simple, spontaneous images portray five women. These profound, secret stories reveal the most private and hidden soul of the protagonists. The resolute and proud personalities of the actresses overwhelmingly emerge in the bareness of the environment. One bed, five protagonists, and five stories appear in a calendar that challenges fads, breaks with convention, and delves into the psyches of the women.
Intellectual, psychological, and artistic are the adjectives that best describe this edition. “We are in a room with just a bed and sheet. We wanted to make it as personal and intimate as possible, as if we were shooting pictures with friends,” said Inez. This completely new way of portraying the actresses sharply contrasts with the usual images of the five superstars appearing in the media ? from the red carpet of film premieres to glossy glamour magazine photos and snapshots taken by the paparazzi.
The 2007 calendar is a powerful combination of simple, eclectic images that explore the female personality in depth. Inez, a great portraitist, immediately establishes a feeling with the stars and puts them at ease. From one woman to another, she tries to capture the hidden and most intense aspects of the protagonists. Thus, Penelope appears “sanguine and sensual”, Hilary is “a pure, sporty, natural American beauty”, Lou is “elegant and cool”, Naomi is “sleek and sophisticated, representing British perfection”, and Sophia Loren is “a superstar and legend”.
Twenty-six incredibly powerful black and white photographs are the result. The light, composition, and atmosphere of the simple, candid shots have everything one would expect from two great international photographers such as Inez and Vinoodh.
Photography available upon request.
INEZ VAN LAMSWEERDE AND VINOODH MATADIN
The photography team composed of Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin has
an apparently infinite ability to explore new visual territories. In the early nineties they
were among the first to demonstrate the potential of digital technology as an important
creative medium. They developed their hallmark style ? a combination of visual
seduction and provocative stories — that introduced new concepts to fashion
Since the early nineties they have done revolutionary spreads for Vogue America,
France and Italy; V Magazine; Visionaire; The New York Times Magazine; and W
Magazine. Their innovative approach can also be seen in advertising campaigns for
Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Yohji Yamamoto, Chloe, Dior Homme, Miu
Miu and Estee Lauder.
Besides their work in the fashion industry, van Lamsweerde and Matadin create photos
that have been applauded in the world of contemporary art. They are represented by
the Matthew Marks Gallery of New York where they showed The Now People Part
Two Life on Earth (2005), The Now People Part One: Paradise (2003/4), ME (1999)
and The Widow (1997). Their work has also appeared in international museums and
art galleries, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Hayward Gallery in
London, and the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.
Oscar winner Sophia Loren is one of the most famous Italian actresses of all time. She
was born and raised in the town of Pozzuoli, in the province of Naples, where she lived
until the end of World War II.
At age 14 she took part in her first beauty contest in Naples, where she won one of the
12 titles. Shortly after, Sophia’s mother enrolled her in acting school, and Sophia
worked as an extra in Mervyn LeRoy’s films Quo Vadis, Hearts at Sea, The Ballot,
The Six Wives of Barbablu, and I Am the Captain.
One evening Sophia went with friends to a nightclub where the Miss Rome beauty
contest was being held. She was noticed by one of the judges, the famous film
producer Carlo Ponti, who encouraged her to participate. Sophia came in second but,
even more importantly, she won a film test with Ponti, which did not result in a
Sophia played a feature role in Africa under the Seas. The film was not instrumental to
her career, but the turning point came with a film version of the opera Aida by
Giuseppe Verdi. When the leading actress dropped out shortly after production began,
Sophia stepped in and did a stunning job that earned her the applause of the critics and
a one-year contract with Carlo Ponti.
Afterwards, the famous director/actor Vittorio de Sica asked Sophia to play the part of
a Neapolitan pizza-maker in The Gold of Naples. De Sica recognized Sophia’s love of
acting, originality, and explosive passion and decided to help the young actress, which
allowed her to cap the role of Nives Mongolini in The River Girl. She also starred in
Too Bad She’s Bad, The Miller’s Beautiful Wife, Neapolitan Carousel, and Lucky to
Be a Woman.
While filming Lucky to Be a Woman, Sophia started studying with linguist Sarah Spain
to prepare herself for roles in English. She could not have chosen a better moment for
lessons because American producer/director Stanley Kramer wanted Sophia for the
leading role in the costume film The Pride and the Passion that also starred Cary Grant
and Frank Sinatra.
Sophia accepted Kramer’s offer of 200,000 dollars and filmed The Pride and the
Passion with Sinatra and Grant, which opened the doors for other films in English
such as Boy on a Dolphin with Alan Ladd.
In 1957 Sophia filmed Legend of the Lost with John Wayne. In the same year she
signed a contract with Columbia for four more films, including Houseboat, once again
with Cary Grant. After Houseboat, she starred in several successful films, including
The Key with William Holden and Trevor Howard; It Started in Naples with Clark
Gable and De Sica; The Millionairess with Peter Sellers; and Black Orchid and Heller
in Pink Tights, both with Anthony Quinn as her leading man.
In 1960 Sophia participated in the Venice Film Festival, where she received the Volpi
Cup as the Best Actress for Black Orchid. Her next film was Two Women, the story of
a mother and daughter who survived World War II. During the filming, the actress
relived memories of that war but now saw it through the eyes of the mother.
Sophia was thrilled when she learned she won the Oscar for Best Actress. She beat
actresses of the caliber of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Piper Laurie in
The Hustler, Geraldine Page in Summer and Smoke, and Natalie Wood in Splendor in
the Grass. Sophia was the first actress ever to win the Best Actress award for a foreign
Sophia wrote several books, including Sophia: Living and Loving; Her Own Story;
Women and Beauty; Eat with Me; and Ricordi e ricette.
The magical chemistry with De Sica and Mastroianni, her favorite film partner,
continued to produce hits such as: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage ?
Italian Style; The Priest’s Wife, Oopsie Poopsie; Friday or another day; and Prêt-àporter.
Some of Sophia’s favorite co-stars were Anthony Perkins (Desire Under the
Elms), Robert Wagner (The Condemned of Altona), Paul Newman and David Niven
(Lady L), Gregory Peck (Arabesque), Marlon Brando (A Countess from Hong Kong),
Peter O’Toole (The Man of La Mancha), Richard Burton (The Voyage and Brief
Encounter), Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner (Cassandra Crossing), and Jack
Lemmon and Walter Matthau (Grumpier Old Men).
Today Sophia Loren is one of the most loved and phenomenal actresses of history. She
has made over 100 films in her 50-year career. She received the Oscar for Lifetime
Achievements and has been defined by People Magazine as “one of the world’s most
stunning and age resistant women”. She was recently proclaimed “The world’s most
beautiful woman” by Time Magazine.
Hilary Swank is the third-youngest woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress twice.
Besides her Oscar for her portrayal of “Brandon Teena” in Boys Don’t Cry, Hilary
won the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress in a Drama” and the Best Actress
awards from the New York Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics, the Chicago
Film Critics, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. She also won the
“Breakthrough Performance” award of the National Board of Review.
Hilary subsequently appeared in supporting roles with Cate Blanchett and Keanu
Reeves in The Gift directed by Sam Raimi and with Al Pacino and Robin Williams in
Insomnia directed by Christopher Nolan. She capped the leading role of Alice Paul in
Iron Jawed Angels for HBO, which tells the story of the suffragette movement: her
performance in this film won her SAG and Golden Globe nominations.
Recently, Hilary starred with Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar
Baby, directed by Eastwood, the story of a girl who tries to make her dream of
becoming a professional boxer come true. For this film she won her second Oscar as
Best Actress and she also won other awards such as Best Actress from the National
Society of Film Critics, the Screen Actors Guild, the Broadcast Film Critics, and a
Golden Globe for the “Best Actress in a Drama”.
Hillary played a supporting role in Black Dahlia directed by Brian De Palma, with
Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett, and will star in The Reaping for Warner
Brothers. She recently made her debut as a producer with Freedom Writers, the true
story of Long Beach teacher Erin Gruwell.
In fall, she will work again with Richard LaGravenese, the screenwriter/director of her
Freedom Writers, to portray the protagonist in the film version of Cecelia Ahern’s
book P.S. I Love You.
Penelope Cruz Sanchez was born in Madrid in the mid-seventies. Dancing captured
her imagination and dominated her life since she was a child, and she studied classical
ballet at the National Spanish Conservatory for 9 years. After Penelope left high school
at 15 years of age, she beat 300 competitors in an agency audition and started working
part-time as a model. National fame arrived at 16 when she was chosen to present
Spanish television programs.
Since the beginning of her career, Penelope has starred in many important films, but it
was her role in the 2001 film with Nicolas Cage, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, that
helped her become one of the world’s most famous actresses. In the same year she costarred
with Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky, the Hollywood remake of Abre Los Ojos, in
which the actress interpreted the same character. Vanilla Sky would drastically change
Penelope’s life. The film made 100 million dollars at the box office, which launched
her to stardom in Hollywood, and it also marked the start of her relationship with Tom
In 2003 she played a mentally disturbed woman in Gothika, with Halle Berry, and in
2005 she co-starred with Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey in Sahara.
Penelope Cruz has always been actively involved in charity work. She once donated
her entire earnings for a film to Mother Teresa’s orphanage, and she also did volunteer
work for two months in Uganda.
Born in England but raised in Australia, Naomi Watts has been in the movie business
for 15 years. After moving to Hollywood, her big break arrived in 2001 when she got a
part in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Her extraordinary performance was critically
acclaimed and she received several awards that attracted the attention of major
producers in Hollywood and abroad.
Naomi finally reached stardom in 2002 when she won the role of the investigative
reporter in The Ring, which made 100 million dollars at the box office. She starred in
the sequel, The Ring 2, and in 2005 she played Anne Darrow in one of the biggest
remakes of our time, King Kong. The role immortalized by Faye Wray in the original
film would turn out to be Watts’ most commercial part to date. Directed by Peter
Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings, the film was critically acclaimed and
made over 400 million dollars worldwide.
Naomi’s beauty and sex appeal are irresistible. In 2002 People magazine included her
in their “50 most beautiful women” list, and she was also voted one of the 15 sexiest
actresses by the Australian Empire Magazine, on whose cover she appeared in March
Lou Doillon was born in 1982 to a “show biz” family: her mother is actress and singer
Jane Birkin. At a very early age, she realized that her family’s profession was an
Doillon made her film debut at five as Jane Birkin’s on-screen daughter in a romantic
drama entitled Kung fu master, but her first starring role arrived in 1997 when she
played the rebellious adolescent in the film Trop peu d’amour, directed by her father.
At 16, she began an unexpected career as a model for Eres, Missoni and Givenchy and
for the “Eau Torride” perfume, and she appears in the current Miu Miu advertising
Lou has often played tempestuous, volcanic roles such as Blanche, a romantic and
sexy costume film from 2002. She next appeared with Charlotte Rampling, who played
her mother, in Summer Things. In 2003, she was Miss Pepys, co-starring with Steve
Coogan for the BBC, and she appeared in Saint Ange, her first French-American
horror flick, with Virginie Ledoyen.
In 2006 Lou just finished a film written and directed by Douglas Buck, co-starring
Chloé Sévigny and Stephen Rea. “Sisters” is the remake of “The Two Sisters”,
directed by Brian de Palma in 1973. She will soon appear in Boxes, the story of a
family, directed by her mother Jane Birkin and starring Geraldine Chaplin, John Hurt,
and Natacha Régnier.